The 2015 debut of Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation came to us live from the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California and featured a lightweight bout between Ukraine fighter Ivan Redkach and Yakubu Amidu of Ghana.
The undefeated southpaw Redkach is known to start fast in a fight, but both he and Amidu were slow out the gate. Both fighters were popping out their jabs with little intent behind them, perhaps nothing more than range finders. After mostly a feeling out round for both fighters, Redkach stole the round in a clear and authoritative manner with only seconds left in the first, landing a three punch combo with the uppercut as an exclamation point.
Things began heating up with half of the second round gone, but it was Redkach that was picking his shots in an effort to not waste energy and slowly get Amidu in range. Redkach was making them count while Amidu found some success countering or towards the end of an exchange.
Amidu had never been knocked down coming into this fight, but Redkach mentioned in the fighter meetings that he’d like to stop his opponent and prove his power. In the fourth round, Redkach’s plan started to reveal itself, although it is worth mentioning that Redkach had set Amidu up in the three previous rounds. It’s not to say that Amidu didn’t find success in the fourth and busiest round, but Redkach was picking the best shots at the right time and unloaded when it mattered.
Round 5 was even more competitive than the previous round and Amidu did some tremendous work. Redkach had to work to keep his momentum and he was aided a bit when the referee took a point from Amidu for repeated low blows, although there was only one hard warning before the point deduction which made it seem a bit frivolous.
Redkach, who set up his power shots in the first few rounds, finally cashed in on the work he’d put in early by teeing off on Amidu in the sixth round. Redkach came out strong and sent Amidu to the canvas with a beautifully set up left hand. Redkach put the double jab in Amidu’s face and then sent the left down the middle.
Amidu was able to make it to his feet only to be sent back to the canvas in the proceeding moments. The second knockdown was less technical but more destructive as Redkach smelt blood and tried to take advantage of his opponent’s last leg. Redkach went in firing as he closed the distance and let his hands go, catching Amidu with a right hook that sent him to the canvas.
Amidu was again able to make it to his feet, but with plenty of time left in the round it was up to Redkach to finish the show. He was unable to finish in the sixth, in fact it was Amidu backing up Redkach, who may have gassed himself out a bit, to close the round.
However, Amidu was clearly hurt in the sixth and eventually retired on his stool in between the sixth and seventh rounds. Amidu was asked by the referee if he wanted to continue and Amidu did not respond, giving the referee only one option to stop the fight.
Fox defeats Day 8MD (Junior Middleweights):
Both Patrick Day and Alantez Fox were undefeated coming into this fight and neither fighter was in a clear showcase position as both fighters were primed for a decisive performance. Fox seemed to have the edge with his 8 inch height advantage, not to mention a substantial reach advantage, and his game plan was clearly to stay on the outside.
Fox started the fight off exactly as he wanted while Day found minimal success though the first two rounds. However, Day started to find a home for his right hand in round three and it was Fox who struggled to maintain a consistently effective distance.
Fox was still working the jab and staying on the outside, but he was far too easy to hit when coming in. Day’s range was fine-tuned with the right hand, but the two big distinctions in the fight were his lack of power and the fact that he only seemed to land one big punch at a time. In fact, Day eventually began landing the left hand, but still, only one at a time.
In the end, Fox as the busier fighter of the two did enough to earn the victory, although he is still clearly learning how to implement his size advantage into his game plan. The judges’ scores, which were highly erratic across the board, were 76-76, while the other two judges scored the fight 80-72 and 78-74 for Fox. Fox took home the majority decision, but his performance left alot to be desired.